Route 35 construction expected throughout summer

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STANDISH — The ongoing road reconstruction project on Route 35 in town is scheduled to be wrapped up in September, according to a spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation.

The $2 million improvement project aims to “reduce maintenance costs, improve safety and protect water quality,” said MDOT’s Ted Talbot, who added that funding for the project is coming from Federal Highway Administration, MDOT, the town of Standish and the Portland Water District.

Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham was awarded the construction contract for the project, which includes one mile of Route 35 from north of the intersection with Route 114 to the intersection of Route 237.

The project also includes the construction of a scenic overlook of Sebago Lake that the Town of Standish will lease from the water district.

Standish Town Manager Kris Tucker provided an update on the project at the May 8 Town Council meeting.

“I’m sure you’ve noticed there’s a little construction going on on 35 right now,” Tucker said dryly. “They’re in the process right now of shaving down a hill to provide better lines of sight, so it’s going to be a little bit more wait time over the next two months going through there.”

Talbot said that Route 237 has been moved about 75 feet north, and that a hill on the southern approach to Route 237 has been lowered by more than 8 feet.

“It’s pretty impressive what they’re doing, they’re keeping traffic moving pretty steadily with no more than 10 or 15 minute delays while they shave down the entire hill rather than sending people on a detour,” Tucker said.

“I’ll just ask you to have some patience, and if you can find alternate routes, you might want to do it for the next two months,” he said.

Tucker also said the town has received some complaints about potholes on the road, but noted that the Route 35 construction is squarely in the DOT’s court.

“This is DOT territory, not Standish,” Tucker said, adding that “we are putting in requests when we hear them.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

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